The Very Rev. Jonathan Robinson, Founder and Superior of the Oratory of St Philip Neri in Toronto, died June 3 at home, after a brief illness. Fr Robinson was born in Montreal in 1929 and ordained a Catholic priest in 1962. He was educated in Montreal, Edinburgh, and Rome. For several years after ordination he served as Paul-Emile Cardinal Leger’s English Secretary.
During a three-year stint as Chairman of the Philosophy Department at McGill University, he felt called to establish a house of the Oratory of St Philip Neri in Canada. The Holy See formally erected the Montreal Oratory in 1975, and the Apostolic Visitor of the Confederation of the Oratory blessed the young community’s move to Toronto in 1979. While in Toronto, he served as Provost of the Toronto Oratory, as well as Rector of St Philip’s Seminary, at various times also acting as Pastor of both Holy Family and St Vincent de Paul Churches. He was a Chaplain of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Besides his academic publications, Fr Robinson also wrote four popular books of spirituality: On the Lord’s Appearing; Spiritual Combat Revisited; The Mass and Modernity; and In No Strange Land.
Fr Robinson’s funeral Mass will be live-streamed Wednesday, June 10 at 10:00 a.m. on the Toronto Oratory YouTube channel.
Donations in Father Robinson’s memory may be made to the Toronto Oratory Renovation Fund, for the construction of a new seminary building, a project dear to his heart: https://oratory-toronto.org/renovatio/ Condolences may be made through www.turnerporter.ca